Saturday, February 20, 2010

Peanuts: So I've decided to be a very rich and famous person who doesn't really care about money.

This has always been my goal, as well. And most everyone else's, I think.

Family Circus: Is this sweater warm enough for me?

Dolly doesn't really have any business passive-aggressively accusing anyone of being too controlling, but every good tyrant is a hypocrite. I'm assuming the next words out of her mouth are going to to be something along the lines of "Oh, and, by the way, THAT sweater makes YOU look like a WHORE, Mommy."

Friday, February 19, 2010

Dennis the Menace: Aw, Mom! I wasn't talkin' about you!

Zing! Don't I look foolish now for suggesting that Dennis the Menace presents an antiquated perspective on gender relations!

I hereby take it all back in recognition of Hank Ketcham Inc.'s acknowledgment that women can hit their children in the head with potentially blunt objects just as well as men can.

Family Circus: You can play if you want to, Daddy. It isn't too hard.

Bill's forced smile here barely even begins to cover the pain inflicted upon him by yet another of Dolly's cruel barbs.

The Phantom: She thinks I'll be with her a long time. She's wrong.

Indeed. The Phantom isn't looking for any kind of commitment right now. He just wants a taste of that sweet, pirate-killing booty.

Breaking: Everybody Loves Calvin and Hobbes.

Nevin Martell, author of Looking for Calvin and Hobbes, has a short essay in The Guardian about how awesome Calvin and Hobbes is:

The strip's authenticity is secured by Watterson's refusal to sell out. He didn't become a cartoonist for the attention, the accolades or the money. He just wanted to create the best comic strip possible. As he once wrote in the introduction to a Krazy Kat collection, "[W]e seem to have forgotten that a comic strip can be something more than a launch pad for a glut of derivative products. When the comic strip is not exploited, the medium can be a vehicle for beautiful artwork and serious, intelligent expression." So, instead of embracing the fame his work afforded him over the years, he gave only a handful of interviews, rarely appeared in public and maintained a very modest lifestyle. He was equally withholding of his creations, whom he never allowed to be merchandised. There were no Hobbes dolls, no Spaceman Spiff action figures and no coffee mugs with Calvin and Hobbes one-liners splashed across them. Considering that all his peers were cashing in on their creations – Charles Schulz (Peanuts) and Jim Davis (Garfield) each earned tens of millions of dollars a year at the height of their fame – it was a tack that was as admirable as it was confounding.

Readers may have never thought about Watterson's personal choices when they read the strip, but that strength of character echoed throughout his work. Calvin and Hobbes is complex, thoughtful and thought provoking. Calvin and Hobbes aren't plastic and one-dimensional, like so many of their contemporaries on the funny pages whose creators strove to make them explicable in a single sentence. Garfield is a fat, lazy cat who loves to eat and give his owner grief. Beetle Bailey is an inept and lazy army private who is forever running afoul of his superiors. That's all you need to know to laugh at either of those characters (and lazy is the operative word here). Now we come to Calvin and Hobbes – a hyper-imaginative kid and his pet tiger who may or may not be real, depending on who's looking at him. But that's just the surface. That doesn't really begin to explain Watterson's unique storytelling device in which readers switch between the world as Calvin sees it – a fantastical place – and as adults see it – a cut 'n' dried conventional reality. You need to immerse yourself in Calvin and Hobbes to truly understand it. Sure, you could read one strip, get the gag and move on with your life, but you'd be missing out.

Not exactly hard hitting stuff, but mostly true. Except maybe for the whole "Isn't Bill Watterson amazing for not licensing his characters!" thing you hear about all the time. I fully respect Watterson for sticking to his principles, but, look, a comic strip--like art in general--is a commercial enterprise. While I'm always up for a little Garfield bashing--and to be sure, this shit here is pretty heinous--Jim Davis "selling out" hasn't actually change the quality of the comic strip. Garfield isn't mediocre because its title character has appeared on lunch boxes. It's mediocre because Davis rarely pushes at the bounds of the thin premise Martell so accurately describes. And Calvin and Hobbes, meanwhile, isn't any less great because of all those dumbass, unlicensed decals you see in the back windows of pickup trucks.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Family Circus: Oooooh! I like their National Anfem. I hope they win more gold medals.

Here we see Dolly already plotting which countries she'll conquer, rape and pillage first when she finally gets elected President/Dictator-for-Life.

The Phantom: I am impressed, Walker!

So it turns out The Phantom, who wears a purple unitard and abandons his kids to run around the world in pursuit of hot female captains to fuck, is kind of a douche.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Mark Trail: Are you up to a little rough water, Senator?

Because, hey, who wouldn't want run the rapids at some place called Devil's Pass while in the midst of dying from a heart attack?

Luann: You'll be the sewin' shark!

It would appear that Luann has man hands.

This will not prevent literally hundreds of people from stumbling upon my blog while searching for images of her in sexually compromising positions.

Family Circus: ...

This comic is hilarious because look how ridiculous Billy looks with his, um, ingenuity and stuff.

Curtis: You won't find anyone worth writing about on TV for your black history report, Curtis!

I'm pretty sure The Wire would make for a fine black history report, though it's possible that Curtis isn't really old enough to be watching it.

In any event, this comic is hilarious because old people hate television and children love it.

BC: Who looks good in speedskating this year?

This comic is hilarious because The Cute Chick is cute, while The Fat Broad is fat.

Marmaduke: Has anyone seen my reading glasses?

Fortunately for Phil, Marmaduke has just eaten someone and taken his reading glasses a trophy.

This is how Phil has gotten most of possessions, actually.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Family Circus: Don't worry, Dolly, there aren't any judges watching us.

Aw, look at Billy attempting to teach Dolly such foreign qualities as love and kindness.

She will use this to destroy him.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Family Circus: If George Washington was the father of our country, was Uncle Sam his brother?

This comic is hilarious because Jeffy is confused by metaphors.

Lola: You know, Mom, we have TWO snow shovels!

At first, one might be taken aback to the point of disgust that a grown man would ask his elderly mother to help him shovel snow. But it's important to remember that Lola is, herself, a grown man, one who has merely disguised himself as on old lady. So it's not really all that bad.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Daddy's Home: Sweet Hearts for the Married

This cartoon is hilarious because marriage is a miserable experience.

Family Circus: I'll be right back!

This comic is hilarious because Bill is a terrible husband.

Peanuts: I can't stand it!

This is just brutal. Brutal.

And I mean that in the best way possible.